Washington State deficit growing at a rate of $2,188 per minute, $131,250 per hour, $3,150,000 per day.*

Deficit growing at a rate of $2,188 per minute, $131,250 per hour,
$3,150,000 per day.*
  Governor Locke's response: he sends emails to state
workers and issues non-binding directives asking them to cut their spending.
Legislature's response: lawmakers talk about tax increases and wait for the
governor to do something.

* Calculated by dividing the $2.27 billion dollar deficit into 730 days of
the biennium.
At current rate of spending, state will run out of money on April 19, 2003.*
The state is currently budgeted to spend $1.82 billion more than its revenue
forecast. Recent forecasts project an additional cost of $450 million for
new caseloads, which means a total deficit of $2.27 billion this biennium.

* Based on EFF estimate. Our estimate is based on official forecasts.
If spending continues at current rate, state projected to start next
biennium with $443 million deficit.

2001-03 2003-05
Projected Revenue $20,962 million $22,790 million
Projected Expenditures $23,233 million* -----> $23,233 million**
Shortage [$2,271 million] [$443 million]

* This is the approved 2001-03 operating budget plus Forecast Council's
11/14/02 and 02/20/02 forecasted caseload increases.

** Assumes spending level stays the same as 2001-03 biennium.
Governor's inaction makes necessary cuts far deeper.* Each day, as the state
continues to spend at current levels, the amount of money left from which
Governor Locke can cut to make up for the $2.27 billion shortage becomes

If the governor acts today . . .
March 1, 2002 - 14.7% cut required

If he waits . . .
May 1, 2002 - 16.9% cut required
July 1, 2002 - 19.7% cut required

* Percentages based on EFF estimates. Our estimates are based on official
State law requires governor to order immediate across-the-board cuts when
there is a projected or actual cash deficit. State Treasurer Mike Murphy
announced on February 19, 2002, that our state's General Fund is currently
$812 million in the red. He projected that if no action is taken the cash
deficit will reach more than $2 billion by November, and grow even higher by
April of 2003.

You can read the law for yourself. It's short and quite clear:
<http://www.effwa.org/deficit.pdf> or RCW 43.88.110(8), RCW 43.88.050, RCW
43.88.260, RCW 43.88.270.
Our state is expected to suffer a recession-related economic downturn until
2004-05, meaning problems must be solved now. There is no fairy godmother in

Additional information:

Contact: Marsha Richards, Communications Director
(360) 956-3482 -- office
(253) 274-1830 -- cell (weekend ok)


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